The Hercule DJControl Air+ S is a two-channel controller that brings an updated look for Hercules’ large jogwheel controller. The main feature on this controller is “Air control”, which converts hand gestures made above the unit into Midi data without having to touch any controls. Though it may seem gimmicky at first, the Air control feature can ultimately be useful depending on how you map it to your DJ app of choice.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Air series’ special feature is an infrared sensor that allows you to control the parameters of your effect by the movement of your hand relative to the sensor, hence the moniker “air control”. The Air+ S keeps most of the functions of the original Air but with an upgrade in the size of the jogwheels. It also adds a stereo RCA output, and places the pads below the jogwheels instead of above them.
The change of placement of the pads below the jogwheels was a welcome change so that users don’t have to hover over the jogwheels to trigger them. Instead of buttons from the Air, the Air+ S changed the track browser to a rotary knob, which lets you go thru you tracks quicker.
A major improvement of the Air+ S over the Air is the bigger jogwheels, now 5.9 inches in diameter. The jogwheels are accurate, but users found it to be heavy-weighted with a fair amount of resistance, which doesn’t allow for quick hand movements when scratching.
The build quality is mostly plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap, and all the knobs and buttons illuminate. The eight pads don’t have any feedback to them, no click or sound, but are velocity sensitive and never fails to trigger when pressed.
A cool feature of the Herucles DJControl Air+ S is the Magic button, which lets you separate a loop into 4 equal parts, allowing you to hop around between the pads. This is a welcome feature that is usually found in more expensive controllers.
The Hercules DJControl Air+ S is an improved refresh of the original. It remains a controller that not only offers its unique Air Control function but is a solid board for learning and performing alike.